Best cars with wood interiors

With more and more glossy black interior finishes in cars, it can be hard to find high-quality wood trim. Here are some appealing options

Matt Rigby
May 10, 2022

In the past, a highly polished wooden dashboard in your car was a signifier of true luxury, and no upmarket model would go on sale without lashings of burr walnut.

In the 21st century, though, wood trim’s popularity has waned somewhat, as vehicle interiors have become more high-tech and futuristic, with flashes of metal or carbon fibre often featuring where once you would have seen wood veneer.

However, wood trim is still a major feature in many models, and it finds its way into a varied mixture of cars, from electric cars to off-roaders to smart executive saloons. So if you'd prefer a traditional car interior, here are eight of our favourites.

Best cars with wood interiors

1. BMW i3

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An electric car is perhaps the last place you’d expect to find such an apparently old fashioned interior trim - especially the super-futuristic BMW i3. Yet rather than a highly polished slab of dark dash - as you’d find in a 1960s Jaguar - the wood used in BMW’s quirkily styled electric family hatchback is much more modern.

Across the dash, you’ll find an elegant, curved piece of eucalyptus wood in some versions, with the instruments and central media system perched across it. The effect is architectural and very modernist, like a smart piece of mid-century Scandinavian furniture.


2. Volvo XC60

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In the past, Volvos traditionally had super-conservative interiors and, though they’ve always been supremely well put together, they’ve never exactly been exciting. Volvo has turned this reputation around in recent years, however, and the XC60 is one of its strongest efforts yet.

Inside, the XC60 isn’t extravagant or overly flashy. It’s understated in a very elegant way, and put together with some beautifully finished and interesting materials. Key among these, especially in Inscription versions, is the Driftwood wood trim finish, inspired by wood washed up on the shores of Sweden.


3. Rolls-Royce Wraith

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There are luxury bespoke furniture makers who could take a lesson or two from Rolls-Royce’s craftsmen, we’re sure. Of all the cars cruising the roads today, few have a greater area of highly polished wood on their insides.

Even the multimedia display is hidden behind a sliding wood panel. Very classy. And with super high-end manufacturers such as Rolls Royce majoring on customisation these days, you're sure to be able to choose a wood finish to suit your tastes if you're lucky enough to order a new model.

4. Mercedes E-Class

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Mercedes interiors are dominated these days by high-tech design themes and big screens. And the E-Class is no different, with its huge - and hugely impressive - touchscreen media system.

But its beautifully finished interior also often features large swathes of silver-grey ash wood, which is a refreshingly different approach to wood trim than highly polished dark woods like burr walnut, which are typically brown.


5. Jaguar F-Pace

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Jaguar has turned its image around lately and moved towards a much more modern vibe - away from the gentlemen’s club on wheels feel it used to have, certainly. That doesn’t mean Jaguar has said goodbye to its wood-and-leather heritage entirely, though. It’s just employed in a much more subtle, modern way these days.

And the wood trim options in the F-Pace SUV are a perfect example of that. There are only three different colours to choose from, all of which are smart-looking and understated, and the wood is sparingly applied - all in all, it’s a very attractive effect.


6. Honda e

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You’d think that a high-tech, cutting-edge brand like Honda wouldn’t be interested in using wood as a decorative feature, but here it is in the Honda e electric city car, like a 1970s TV table housing the car’s bank of flat screens.

It’s not as incongruous as you might at first think, though. Besides being very well executed, it’s also a nod to the car’s visual references to the early Honda Civics of the 1970s. Regardless of the references, the Honda e does a very impressive job of successfully blending high-tech electric power and big-screen interior with traditional materials...


7. Land Rover Defender

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Wood finishes in a high-end 4x4 SUV don’t seem out of place, but it is perhaps a little odd to see in an off-roader as rugged and utilitarian and as a Land Rover Defender. Traditionally, the Defender was a seriously tough, but unglamorous off-road machine, with little in the way of interior style.

However, the Defender of today isn’t quite as bare-bones functional as its predecessor, and the wood finishes to the spars on the centre console of the latest Defender add a surprisingly effective touch of style to the car’s interior. It may still be a tough off-roader, but this version of the Defender is far more comfortable and upmarket than the previous model.


8. Tesla Model 3

Used deals from £46,495

Yet another electric car with a horizontal slice of wood trim makes it to our list of best cars with wood interiors. In the case of the Tesla Model 3, the interior really is a minimalist affair, with a huge central media system, a steering wheel and, er, not much else.

As a result of the uncluttered dashboard, the strip of attractive wood trim running across the width of the dash adds a welcome dash of visual flair and texture.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
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Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

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